Conclusion [chapter]

2020 Modernizing Composition  
Conclusion Modernizing Composition has sought to demonstrate how Sinhalese songwriters and poets modernized song and poetry in response to colonial and postcolonial formations. In this conclusion I wish to consider what their responses can articulate about common frameworks and theories one encounters in scholarship in the disciplines of South Asian studies and ethnomusicology. I also attempt to identify shortcomings of this monograph and describe three academic projects to which I hope to have
more » ... contributed. The onset of postcolonial studies impacted an entire generation of scholars in South Asian studies and ethnomusicology to devote research to the impact of colonialism and power relations between social actors from South Asia and the West. The history of Sinhala song and poetry in twentieth-century Sri Lanka offers food for thought to this academic movement, but it also directs attention onto overlooked links within South Asia. I focused this monograph on one intra-South Asia relationship hitherto not taken into serious consideration by ethnomusicologists or South Asian studies scholars: connections between Sri Lankans and North Indians. Readers of Modernizing Composition may contend that the monograph's attempt to draw attention to intra-South Asian connections is problematic because it obfuscates how these connections have deep roots in colonialism and orientalism. The persuasiveness of this argument, in my judgment, is weakest when one focuses on Sinhala song and poetry created in the mid-twentieth century. The strength of this argument, however, grows stronger when one focuses on the song and poetry produced in the early decades of the twentieth century. In the early decades of the twentieth century, one finds ties between John De Silva's (chapter 1) Sinhala-language theater song, Hindustani music, and orientalism.
doi:10.1525/9780520967755-011 fatcat:hxpzmvx6gjbwrkradbj5e3rn5a